The follow-up to the smash hit The Silence of the Lambs features Anthony Hopkins returning to one of his most well-known roles as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) steps in for Jodie Foster’s FBI agent Clarice Starling, who is under fire for a botched drug raid until a wealthy “beneficiary” pulls strings to get her back on the search for Lecter. Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) plays the majorly disfigured sole survivor of the devious doctor’s ways who wants Starling to lead Lecter back to him to carry out a sadistic revenge.
Ridley Scott (Alien, The Martian) takes over where Jonathan Demme left off (due to concerns about the a gore filled script) to deliver an adequate yet regressed go at furthering the sinful psycho’s saga. Most found this sequel underwhelming but I like to give it more credit than that, especially because I prefer the grisly story of Mason Verger to anything the “Red Dragon” has to offer. Sure Foster’s performance was hard to top, but Moore holds her own and it is worth noting her admiration of her target is much more toned down than originally intended. There are plenty of memorable sequences, arguably more than Silence had, but overall Hannibal doesn’t execute its themes as effectively and even concludes with an off-kilter tone. Once again I would implore you to take in the TV series when you have a chance because it fleshes out the stories from all three films giving fans enamored with the Hannibal Cinematic Universe (the HCU) extra satisfaction.
4 brain bowls out of 5
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